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Manufacturing

Employer did not have just cause to dismiss VP Finance it alleged was insolent, insubordinate and lacked judgment

Jurisdiction: - British Columbia
Sector: - Manufacturing

In Kokilev v. Picquic Tool Company Inc., 2010 BCSC 1412, the BC Supreme Court ruled that an employer did not have just cause to dismiss its VP Finance on the basis that he was insolent, insubordinate and lacked judgment.

At the time his employment was terminated, the VP Finance had almost eight years of service, earned $100,000 annually and was approximately 41 years old. The court awarded him a 10 month notice period.

(Postscript: James D. Kondopulos, a lawyer at Roper Greyell in Vancouver, has written a summary of the case that can be found here: "Dealing with the Insolent, Insubordinate or Disobedient Employee". The article first appeared in the B.C. Human Resources Management Association's HRVoice Magazine (March 2011)).

Update on the Bill C-45 health and safety amendments to the Criminal Code

Jurisdiction: - Quebec
Sector: - Manufacturing

The 2004 "Bill C-45" amendments to the Criminal Code opened the door for an organization to be charged criminally for not meeting its workplace health and safety obligations.

There has only been one criminal conviction under the amendments since they were introduced, according to an article on "Criminal Negligence and the Corporation" in the winter edition of the Canadian Corporate Counsel Association magazine written by Toronto lawyer Pradeep Chand.

Transpave, Inc. , a concrete block manufacturer near Montreal, pled guilty to criminal negligence causing death in December 2007. The charges were brought in relation to a 2005 workplace accident in which a 23 year-old Transpave employee was crushed to death while trying to clear a jam in a machine.

Transpave was subsequently fined $100,000 by the Quebec court, which was the amount that Crown counsel and the lawyer for the company had jointly agreed was appropriate.

(Note: The federal government's Plain Language Guide to Bill C-45, which appears to have been written before it was passed, can be found here).

BC Court of Appeal addresses how lump-sum pension payments should be calculated over notice period

Jurisdiction: - British Columbia
Sector: - Manufacturing

In the wrongful dismissal case of Lewis v. Lehigh Northwest Cement Limited, 2009 BCCA 424, the BC Court of Appeal addressed the manner in which special allowances, discretionary increases in salary and pension benefits should be treated over the notice period. It also discussed the duty the mitigate and the awarding of costs.

Background

The appellant employee had been employed by Lehigh Northwest Cement Limited ("Lehigh") for 26 years.  He was the manager of computer systems. He was dismissed without cause in 2006 following a 28 month medical leave of absence because there was no position for him to return to.  He was 58 years of age.  Lehigh offered him a severance package equal to 15 months salary, which he declined.

At trial, he was awarded 22 months notice, which equalled about $200,000, and about 30% of his costs (see  Lewis v. Lehigh Northwest Cement Limited, 2008 BCSC 542).  read more »